Ed Sheeran’s new baby: How rare is Antarctica as a middle name?

Ed Sheeran announced the birth of his firstborn child on Tuesday, September 1. Picture: Zakary Walt

Ed Sheeran announced the birth of his firstborn child on Tuesday, September 1. Picture: Zakary Walters - Credit: Archant

Ed Sheeran’s daughter could be the first baby in 24 years to be given the incredibly rare name of Antarctica.

Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran was born last week and the Framlingham singer announced the happy news on Instagram this morning with his wife Cherry – a childhood friend who he attended school with in Suffolk.

MORE: Ed Sheeran celebrates birth of first child Lyra

While the name Lyra is the 150th most popular name in England and Wales last year, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, no babies have been given Antarctica as a first name since 1996.

However, the ONS only lists first names registered, so it may be other children also have the frozen southern continent on their birth certificates.

Lyra, derived from the Latin word for lyre, a small harp, also describes the constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega.

It appeared 342 times last year and was the name of the heroine in Sir Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books – recently adapted into a TV series for the BBC.

Three babies were named Lyra in 1999, and its previous highest position was in 2018 when it was ranked 142nd, with 362 babies.

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Ed shared a picture of a pair of tiny socks and blanket on his profile this morning saying: “Ello! A quick message from me as I have some personal news that I wanted to share with you ... Last week, with the help of an amazing delivery team, Cherry gave birth to our beautiful and healthy daughter - Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran.

“We are completely in love with her. Both mum and baby are doing amazing and we are on cloud nine over here. We hope that you can respect our privacy at this time. Lots of love and I’ll see you when it’s time to come back, Ed x.”

The couple kept the pregnancy a secret throughout lockdown but news broke in August that they were expecting their first child.

QUIZ: What do you remember about Ed Sheeran’s Ipswich concerts?

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